St Bart’s Lime Street: Australia’s Leading Social Housing Project

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013
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Lime Street Building
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St Bart’s Lime Street, designed by Formworks Architecture, won the Harold Krantz Award for Residential Architecture – Multiple Residential at the Australian Institute of Architects’ (AIA) Western Australian Architecture Awards.

St Bartholomew’s Lime Street Accommodation, a $34 million facility located on Lime Street, East Perth, is one of Australia’s leading social housing projects. It provides 148 people – many of them older people at risk of homelessness – with a place to call home.

The key stakeholders involved in this project were the East Perth Redevelopment Authority, the City of Perth, the Department of Housing, and the Department of Health and Ageing.

The building was designed for homeless people and combines crisis care, transitional care, long term accommodation, aged care and offices for mental health service providers.

Lime Street Building Facade Material

Different materials are used on the facades.

The key challenges facing the architects and designers were in finding a way to combine so many different uses in the same building and in creating a “family atmosphere” in such a large facility.

To understand the clients’ needs, the architects conducted exhaustive research, visiting single-use social housing projects around Australia, and combining the best features from each in St Bart’s Lime Street’s design.

The result was an innovative building that uses natural sunlight, offers a complex mixture of private and shared spaces and has a unified design theme to allow residents and staff to create a new community within the building and safer connections with the outside world.

Lime Street Building internal courtyard

View from the internal courtyard.

The development features two housing towers, each of which has rooftop gardens that take advantage of the views of the surrounding neighbourhood. The gardens are constantly changing and growing and encourage interaction amongst residents, creating a community atmosphere.

The project’s size is softened by a series of facade treatments to all sides of the building.

Its interior design is oriented around privacy and protection for the residents, with strategically placed and designed rooms, and domestic touches added in shared spaces.

Lime Street Building Corridor

View from Corridor

Formworksmanaging director Kelly Rattigan emphasized that throughout the entire design process, the firm paired creative and innovative ideas with functional concepts to improve the building’s sustainability and reduce ongoing operating costs.

The project was completed in 2012 and earned rave reviews.

“Kelly’s vision was ‘a place in the sun’ for residents, and she has spent many hours talking with individual residents about their ideas for crisis and transitional accommodation, then worked to incorporate these views into her design,” said St Bartholomew’s House CEO Lynne Evans.

St Bart’s Lime Street Accommodation will move on to the AIA’s National Awards, which will be announced in Sydney in November.

Lime Street Building Floor Plan

Floor plan of the complex.

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